(The coming of information age)
[AN: I think… my grammar is getting better… and my communication skills in English improved when I start writing! This is awesome!]
[AN: Are you itching for action already? Well, I’m sorry but please wait a little more. My chapters are short, so I plan to increase the chapters instead than stretch the chapters.]
It has been 3 days since he arrived in this city and is now living on his own. He has a small apartment given to him by the duke, several blocks away from the duke’s residence. It has a narrow structure and big enough for a small family to live on which has 4 floors with a functional medieval kitchen, comfort room and 6 smaller rooms, a typical type of housing in medieval times.
It is around 8 in the morning, is what Luke determined judging from the direction of his shadow. He is currently riding a beautiful stallion and enjoying the relaxing scenery of the city.
Behind him are Audleigh and two burly men in a suit of light armor equipped with short sword and long spear. Audleigh was given the task to guide him around the city while the two men were their guards.
Today, their plan is to find artisans that will help him to build a prototype of his device that is being funded by Duke Augustus.
“So you need a blacksmith and several builders. Alright, follow me.” Audleigh said.
The four went on their way; their pacing is not fast as they thoroughly enjoy the beautiful scenery. The people seeing him bowed in courtesy as they think that he is of noble birth, a common practice that is supported by the law. They are not wrong though; however, his family did not acknowledge him; therefore, he was not really a noble but a quasi, as he has no rights of claim.
“Ser Audleigh, about what happened 4 days ago. I only got this chance to say this to you, so I would like to apologize for my behavior that day. I know that I am wrong.”
“Ah… about that… well… it is not me you should give your apology, you know. I was never taken any offence to it, but to that girl. She definitely was hurt and confused right now. Well, save your apologies, as you will not see her for the time being. Luke, somehow… somehow, I understand you alright.”
Being able to endure the pain and survive all by yourself when you are still an infant is a miracle, Luke. And to grow without a family must be really hard for you, but don’t worry, you have a new family here. Audleigh thought.
Luke knew that Audleigh and the others misunderstood him, that they form their own speculation about his current situation in the basis of his predicament. However, this circumstance is better than forming conclusion about his strange existence that he conforms to it.
“Well… thank you…”
“But Luke, I want you to change how you treat others alright. It will be bad if you keep on rejecting others whose there to help you, just because you see them to be unworthy of your time. Yes, I noticed it Luke, even if you treated them better, but you looked at them indifferently. We have our own goals, yes… and you have set your own goal at an early age, I know that. However, must you deny others just because they have different goals than you or they are simply inferior to you? It is not how you should see things, Luke. You are not alone in this world, so you should never feel alone.”
“It is good that you understand, but be sure to make a difference from now on.” He then looked further ahead. “So Luke, what can you say about our city? Isn’t this a sight to behold?”
Luke spread his sight around, to see the medieval scenery of buildings and people.
“Yes… it is a beautiful city. Everyone must be charmed by it.” He answered.
“Mm… The City of Rumina is one of the biggest cities in the kingdom. It is certainly not as big as Eldryne; however, in terms of splendor, this city never falls behind.”
Several minutes later, they stopped as they have arrived in their first destination.
“We’re here.” Audleigh informed them as he dismounted.
Luke looked forward and found a signboard hanged above them that say’s [Black Hammer – Belfur]. The two guards dismounted in their horses and then one of them assisted him as he dismount, after all, he is still too short to ride a horse.
“He’s the best metal craftsman in the city. Anything from farming tools, kitchen knives, silver wares to swords and weapons, he can do a great job… better than anyone.” Audleigh said.
“How can I help you… sire?” A sweaty shirtless young looking handsome man with broad-shoulders approached them and asked.
“Pardon me sire, but my father is quite busy. He has a deadline to meet.” The young man replied.
Audleigh handed him a letter sealed with red wax.
The young man received the letter and silently read it. It is important for their business to have someone literate as most of their works came from orders by letters from nobles and military commanders that they took into account.
“If you’ll excuse me, I will quickly inform my father.”
A minute later, the young man came back. Along with him is a white bearded dark skinned muscular middle age looking man. He is Belfur, a well-known blacksmith throughout the city, an 87 years old man.
“What is your request, ser Audleigh?”
“Ah… I have something for you. I want you to make this.” Audleigh said as he handed 14 pieces of paper.
The blacksmith received and examined it. He took his time until he got the idea.
“Is this…” Surprise was written all over his old face, as he cannot believe of what he is seeing.
“Are you familiar with it?”
“Is this perhaps a part of revolving mechanism?”
“Yes it is.”
“But this is… how should I say this…”
“Very unconventional and innovative…?”
“Yes, yes, I never have seen this kind of design in my entire life. It was very elaborate and sophisticated! Who came up with this?”
“It doesn’t concern you… well, for now. All that matter is this.” He points at the papers. “Build it according to the specification of the design. We want it light yet guarantees strength. As for the initial payment, here is 760 Brunn. Is this sufficient?”
To enable rich trading all over the kingdom, a monetary system was established with the starting value of 1 ox is equal to 1 Brunn that is a small gold coin, 1 Brunn is equal to 100 Brunnar that is silver and 1 Brunnar is equal to 100 Brunnies that is a combination of different metals.
“Yes, it is very sufficient enough.”
“How long do you think it will be done? We still need to check it, if it properly fit on the apparatus.”
“Give me 80… no… 60 days to finish everything.”
“I don’t want to put you in a tight spot. We can wait until the end of middle quarter.”
“No. I do not mean to brag, but I can really finish it in 60 days. I was taken by it that I am itching to start right away!” His eyes filled with enthusiasm and determination.
“But I’ve heard you have a deadline to meet.”
“Hump… those were just farming tools and weapons. I am tired of doing repetitive hammering. Right now, I want to try something new… something that will stimulate me… something that will make me remember my purpose… of why I became a blacksmith! And this is what I have been looking!”
“Alright then, we will leave it to you. By the way, do you have a method to make these?”
“Mm… this is indeed very tricky. I am ashamed to admit that I do not have a single idea. This is indeed very unconventional. I could try something…”
“The maker of this suggested the method of casting.”
“You mean the method of making bells? Can it really be used to forge all of this?” Then he pondered for a moment. “Ooh!” He said in eureka.
“You seem to get it.”
“Yes. Nevertheless, I still need to think it over. To think that we could actually cast anything like we do in bells… Ooh! This is amazing! I am invigorated! With this method, I could finish everything in less than 15 days.”
“Great. And one more thing, be careful not to damage those paper, we only have one copy of it.”
“Of course, this is a work of art. I won’t even let a spec of dirt to ruin it.”
“Very well, we’ll get going.”
“Thank you and please take care.”
“Well, that was quick.” Luke said.
They are back on their tracks, a few meters away from the blacksmith shop and currently on their way towards the city’s main gate to meet the builders.
“I have known him for quite some time now and believe me he is crazy when it comes to metal works. If he finds new things that picked his interest, he will immediately work on it without asking more questions.”
“By the way, how can you come up with that? That technology is revolutionary; it will change everything you know.”
“Ah, that… well, let us just say, I am quite fascinated with those things when I first saw a draw bridge being raise when I was 6.” He lied.
“6 years old?”
“Yes… and from then on… I thought ‘what if I could make it more complex?’”
“And how did you come up with an apparatus that make books?”
“Well, I have a big sister… and her name is Ella and she likes stories. Then, it came to me, if I could create a machine that makes books faster and cheaper then she could read all kinds of stories… no matter where she was.”
“Ella… tsk…” Audleigh muttered and clicked his tongue.
What this grim news would turn you into, if you learn that she suffered and is currently missing. She might have been dead all these years. This news is what we fear. If you learn of this, you might become unstable and be consume by hate! Then I am afraid there will be no hope in you… we would then be left with no other choice but… to kill you. We cannot allow you to rise as one of the dark force that haunts this world. Such talent is astounding yet it certainly carries an amount of danger. What a waste of talent it would be, if the entire humanity could not benefit from it.
However, right now, we are trying our best to save her and we hope that it is never too late to save her.
The Early Quarter of Eragar had passed and it is now the Middle Quarter of the month. (AN: That is 4 months.)
Duke Augustus, Audleigh, Stefan, and Luke had gathered to talk about some matters. From the 3rd floor of the establishment, they are seated near the window with an overlooking view of a small shop and its long line of people stretching in the sidewalk. This shop never had this number of people waiting in line and these people are here to buy books. (AN: Stefan is the first-born son of Duke Augustus and the father of Layla. Chapter 10: A lunch with the Lenforth)
They watched at the scene outside.
“Fall in line! Fall in line.” The shop employee exclaimed. “There are enough books for all of you today. So wait patiently and fall in line… thank you!”
“How many books are you selling?!” A male customer had asked.
“Ah yes… we have a stock of 3,000 books of 3 different titles. I heard from the Golden Ink Publication House that there are 30,000 books to be sold on this day.”
“30,000!” They all exclaimed.
“You heard me right. There are 30,000 books!”
“To have so many books to be sold in one day is a marvelous feat!” A person from the crowd exclaimed.
“You are correct mister. I have heard that all of these books were made in one place… in this very city! Moreover, the Golden Ink Publication House could actually make 1000 books a day! What’s truly amazing is the quality of their books, its writings are all in uniform! Therefore, you will all get the same book! Furthermore, its price… is only 50 Brunnar! You heard me folks! The price for one book is only 50 Brunnar! Isn’t it amazing?!”
“That’s right! 50 Brunnar, it is 10 times cheaper than your conventional books sold in our market today! What’s more, the Golden Ink Publication House had further plans to lower the price of their books! What does it mean? It means they are giving all of these books to everyone! It is almost free!”
“I want one! Give me one of your books!” A man exclaimed.
“I want one too!”
“Give me all 3 titles!”
“I want 5 copies for each title!”
Then the entire crowd was in uproar. They all want to buy a book. Some of them did not even know how to read or write, but still bought a book. It is because, books can be a testament of one’s status since books are expensive and only the nobles were the ones who can afford it. Thus, if they bought one of these books, they are actually elevating their status, even just a little.
“Look at this number of people. They’re all here to buy your books.” Audleigh said to Luke.
“I am truly bewildered right now. I never would’ve thought that a mere child would be able to make all these things possible, to think that we could actually mass-produce books. I apologize for looking down on you Luke.” Stefan said. “It wouldn’t be long for the entire continent of Arkimutt to acknowledge our small dukedom to be the publishing capital of the world.” He added.
“Yes. However, I had a talk with the king and duke Rhemus, and we came into accord that we are not going to monopolize these technologies.” The duke replied.
“Isn’t it a violation of the treaty, father? They’ve literally told us what to do. As a consignee of the said treaty, we are free to do what we like as long as we do not compromise the national security. Therefore, they are not allowed to dictate us. We have come up with this technology, it is only appropriate that we monopolize it. It is in our interest to do so.”
“Either way, I have to agree to it.”
“But why, father?”
“Let us just say, it is for the benefit of everyone. Besides, it won’t matter if this kind of technology proliferates in the entire continent. It all comes down to how we will handle our business. We already created a name to the hearts of these people and they’ll be the foundation for our business. Is it right, Luke?”
“Yes milord. Furthermore, monopolizing it will make us the target of other factions. There is really no loss for us, as we already had the advantage. It will take them about 10 years to match our current progress; however, at that time we will be miles away that they can’t catch us.”
“You heard him right. We will follow his instruction and stay on track with our plans.” He then asked Audleigh. “We are to proceed with establishing a news publication… so how’s everything?”
“Yes, the facility will be ready in just a few weeks and we already managed to create the fundamental system of our publication. We only need a sufficient number of writers and everything is complete.” Audleigh answered.
“Mm… then I should meet with the king right away and discuss the underlying rules of the news publication of this nation.”