Chapter 33: Meeting
EndlessFantasy Translation EndlessFantasy Translation
Norland's Downtown District.
Ever since the patent law was enacted, Norland had whipped up a surge of inventive fervor as mages set up ateliers all across Norland. The downtown area was the place with the densest concentration of ateliers.
However, all of the ateliers belonged to lesser-known mage apprentices and adepts who were hoping that their works would catch the eye of a big merchant. Then they could become renowned people like those great investors.
Hyrlan was also one of these many mage apprentices, but her ambition ran much further than her fellow adepts who only focused on money and status.
What she wanted was fame, and she hoped to display a new arcanotech made by herself in the World Exhibition in two months' time. She wanted to let the whole world know her name, and her family name, Lloyd.
It was the wish of her mother who had passed away early on. The item Hyrlan had prepared for the exhibition was also her mother's legacy.
Unfortunately, reality was far crueler than Hyrlan had imagined. The stereoplotter she had created was not as valuable as the "new mobility tools that could replace horses".
After all, any painter would prefer to paint on paper, not on a projection refracted by magic, then turn their works into a storage unit inside a rune.
So, Hyrlan hesitated on whether she should just give up her research and go back to school to complete her studies. She had already missed a couple of classes in order to rush for the World Exhibition.
If things continued, she might not even get her Rank 4 certification after graduation.
Hyrlan put down her runic inscription tools and heard someone knocking on the door.
Was it that other student coming to persuade her to give up again? Hyrlan sorted her long light gray hair and quickly went to the door of her alchemy atelier. Through the window, she saw a relative who had been missing for over half a year, her little sister...
Under Joshua's insistence, Ciri could only obediently take him to where her sister lived.
Bringing such a dangerous demon before her loved ones was indeed an evil deed that would get her spat on if it was said out loud.
Ciri admitted that she was indeed a little scared of death. Anyone with a time bomb strapped to their neck would not dare declare "I fear nothing" out loud.
Plus, Joshua was not as bad as Ciri had anticipated.
"Ciri, where have you been for the past six months?!"
Hyrlan pushed open the atelier door and looked at her sister, whom she had not seen for over half a year.
Ciri pondered if she should tell Hyrlan that she had been living in the Demonic Realm for over half a month.
"And... this is?"
Hyrlan did not admonish her sister for her sudden disappearance, instead, she looked at Joshua who was standing beside Ciri.
"I'm a friend Ciri met during her journey. The name's Joshua."
Joshua introduced himself to the tall lady before him just as he had pictured it in his mind that morning. Ciri's sister was almost as tall as her, but her figure was far more developed, and her temperament was a lot more matured and calm.
"Hyrlan Lloyd. Thank you for looking after Ciri all this time. Please come in and have a seat."
Hyrlan did not look like Ciri's sister, more like a mother figure instead.
Since Hyrlan said that, Ciri could only walk into the atelier obediently. Joshua went in as well without much reservation.
The atelier's layout was a lot simpler than Joshua had imagined, and compared with the third prince's experimentation site, this place better suited Joshua's slightly germophobic self.
There was a faint blue cube in the middle of the atelier, and the translucent phantom above it attracted Joshua's attention.
"Joshua, could you go somewhere for a break first? I have something to ask my little sister."
Hyrlan grabbed Ciri's arm, and her posture meant that escape was a no go for Ciri even if she wanted to run away.
"Of course, not a problem."
Joshua gave the two sisters ample space alone because they had not seen each other for so long.
Hyrlan pulled her sister's arm all the way to a small cubicle in the atelier. She looked at Joshua who was on the far end of the atelier, and after she confirmed that he was not paying any attention, she lowered her voice as she questioned Ciri.
"The last time you ran away for a year, you came back with a Rank 2 certificate. Now you went missing for half a year and brought a man back. Ciri, didn't I tell you to let me know if you were seeing someone of the opposite gender?"
"Sister, I'm nineteen years old this year!"
Ciri bit her lower lip as she repeated the same words she used to refute her sister countless of times before.
Ciri's life was neither tragic nor happy. Her mother passed away when she was ten, and her irresponsible father had abandoned both Ciri and her elder sister. So, for the past nine years, both of them depended on each other.
Since the age of fifteen, Ciri thought that she had the ability to stand on her own, but her sister, Hyrlan seemed to think that she would never grow up... Due to the childish excuse and having enough nagging from the teachers in the academy, Ciri chose to run away from home back then.
"It is true that you are an adult now. Can you tell me more about that person who has come so far with you? And how did you meet him?"
Hyrlan's question totally stumped Ciri.
Joshua's identity? Did being the third prince of the Demonic Realm count?
However, if Ciri told the truth, the first thing Hyrlan would do was call the city guards, and Norland's internal security team would rush over to take Joshua away. The time bomb on Ciri's neck would then explode and separate her head from her body.
"Is this a gift from him?"
Ciri subconsciously touched her neck, and the motion was enough for Hyrlan to notice the beautiful neck ornament on her sister's neck.
"It's a Flame Crystal... Ciri, this is a very precious gift."
Hyrlan recognized the red crystal on Ciri's neck at first glance.
Ciri obviously knew how precious the thing was. It was worth her very life!
"Sister, Joshua is a just an ordinary, ordinary... artist, but some of the things he's made are still interesting."
After being by Joshua's side for such a long time, Ciri had also picked up some weird vocabulary, including the programs that Joshua had given to her.
"This..." Ciri waved her hand as she showed Hyrlan the "Pong" game Joshua had transmitted to her consciousness, and there was a score of 1:210 in the program.
Judging from Hyrlan's puzzled expression, she did not understood what the numbers meant.
"I remember seeing him do that."
Along the way, Joshua thought Ciri how to "transfer" the program. Ciri was quite talented, and she mastered it just after a day. A faint cube appeared in Ciri's hand, and she handed it over to Hyrlan.
Among the gods Hyrlan worshipped was the same god of order, whom Ciri worshipped. In addition, Hyrlan also worshipped the god of flowing waters and healing, Vengert. Hence, Hyrlan could receive the program, which Ciri "transferred" to her without a hitch.
Pong's interface appeared before Hyrlan's eyes, and as she looked at the fluttering window in her field of view, Hyrlan experienced a wondrous feeling.