Chapter 40: Voiceover
Joshua declined the super luxurious residence provided by Sir Weissenasche and followed Hyrlan and Ciri back to the atelier.
The rather small atelier, in truth, could not fit three persons, and as a man, Joshua could not allow Hyrlan and Ciri to sleep on the floor.
So, he declined Hyrlan's proposal to give him the only room. Instead, he found a separate workspace to start his late-night programming routine.
The beginning of any entrepreneurship was difficult. How many entrepreneurs in the IT industry back on Earth had started their journey in a small garage?
Be it Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Larry Page and Sergey Brin, all of them started from scratch in a garage.
Most of the well-known trillion-dollar companies in Silicon Valley basically all started from a small garage.
While Hyrlan's atelier was not a garage, it was just a tad larger than one.
Joshua spread a blank sheet of paper out on the table as a light ball floated beside him, dispelling the surrounding darkness.
That was the lowest level of magic, "Illumination", and it was something that almost all mages who could use magic would know. The originium crystal that was enchanted with the Illumination spell had replaced candles and became Norland's most common lighting tool.
Using the light brought on by the Illumination spell, Joshua finished the creation of the "Beauty and the Demon" poster.
Joshua had yet to solve the program of importing images into the runic editing program in his consciousness. So, he could only write the title on the paper by hand before he chose the dance scene where Belle and the demon looked lovingly at each other, projecting it onto the paper.
After he completed the poster production, Joshua left the small space and proceeded to the room where the finished products were displayed.
The entire room was lit up by Illumination crystals, and the arcanotech Hyrlan had created were also emitting a faint glow. On the runic projection of the device was the image of a female mage.
Her pupils were filled with a faint blue arcane glow as magical currents surged in her hands. The background of the image was a raging storm with her silver and light-golden hair fluttering in the rain.
Just by looking at the portrait of the female mage alone, one could clearly feel how powerful she was.
"Who is she?"
Ciri walked out from behind the device, and she was holding a white paper. On it was the "original artwork" Joshua had drawn.
"Jaina. Jaina Proudmoore," Joshua said her name.
That character was pretty much the heroine who ran through World of Warcraft's story. Similarly, she was also the representative of the Mage class in the game of Hearthstone.
"What is her relationship with you…"
Ciri demurred for a moment but could not help asking Joshua the question.
Joshua was stunned for a moment. Jaina was just a fictional character, and Joshua did not have anything to do with her. Yet, as a World of Warcraft player, Joshua found such an answer unsatisfactory either.
"A comrade-in-arms whom I fought together with."
Joshua had played on the side of the Alliance in World of Warcraft, and Jaina was on the same side. As a video game player, Joshua was indeed Jaina's comrade-in-arms.
Ciri did not say anything. As she looked at Jaina's portrait, she suddenly recalled the conversation between Joshua and Zenarth that she had overhead while she was sleeping in the castle. She remembered that Joshua had said something along the lines of, "I already have someone I like".
Joshua could guess what Ciri was thinking, but he did not deliberately explain it. He just shifted his gaze to Jaina's portrait.
The portrait projected on the device was based on Ciri's completion of Joshua's original drawing. Ciri's drawing had made Joshua realize something… Ciri was not suited to be a mage!
Joshua had only told her about some techniques in coloring and composition before he allowed Ciri to redraw the original art on the arcane device.
While Ciri's art was still a distance away from being "professional", it was at the very least, in the category of "passable".
Most importantly, Ciri's painting was not affected by the style of the era they were in. The paintings of that age were mostly oil paintings, and the style was similar to that of Mona Lisa or the Chinese ink-brush paintings. Joshua had seen the same type of painting back in Sir Weissenasche's theater. He had heard from the former that the paintings came from a country called Daxia.
However, whether it was an oil or ink painting, it was different from modern CG art on Earth. Joshua could not sense any trace of "retro" in Ciri's work.
"Have you ever considered a career as a graphic artist?"
Joshua inspected the painting of Jaina Proudmoore from top to bottom. There were some flaws in the minute details, but they were still acceptable after Joshua's modifications.
If Ciri continued to practice at that pace, she could definitely become an excellent video game concept artist.
"I… don't know."
Ciri had originally prepared to decline Joshua's proposal with justification. She helped Joshua to draw because of the debt of life she owed to him. But if he wanted Ciri to give up being a mage and become a full-time artist, Ciri would definitely not be willing to accede to that.
After all, a powerful mage would be the one standing at the top of this magical world, and Ciri had enough talent to be a powerful mage.
"I'm not asking you to quit your main occupation, just make painting your side profession."
Joshua gave Ciri a perfect answer.
Ciri looked at the portrait of Jaina, a female wizard who appeared very powerful. Perhaps, it would be of the most use to Joshua if Ciri became an artist since he was surrounded by too many powerful people.
"Sure, but there will be a day when ‘my magic will tear you apart'."
Ciri used Jaina's line against Joshua. It was the same line that was written in Jaina's manuscript.
Yet, Joshua felt no sense of danger from it. Instead, his eyes lit up as he heard what Ciri said.
"Ciri, you sound pretty good saying that. Are you interested in doing voiceover for this character?"
Joshua once again uttered a word that struck Ciri's knowledge blindspot, but Ciri was already used to it by now.
"The character Jaina has already been set up. Are you interested in being the voice for this character?"
Joshua was determined to create Hearthstone. It was a game that could be completed with just original art and some not too difficult animations. The only troublesome part was the voiceover for the cards.
Ciri's voice was pleasing to the ear, and with just a little emotion, her voice perfectly matched Jaina's image.