Lost and Found
“You truly have impressive calculation skills for a businessman. I mean, you can do division, after all. You must be a scholar, too.”
I caught the pleased tone in the scholar’s speech. His appearance was lanky and frail but very tall. Imagine a wobbly bamboo stick if you will. The interior of his house was messy. It resembled a dining place, with utensils piled up here and there. Dry food and wine littered the floor. A rodent casually scuttled past me without any fear of us. He led me up a narrow wooden flight of creaky stairs. I’m not lying when I say that I felt it was going to crumble. He, however, was indifferent and even quite excited.
“There are lots of interesting things in this world, division being one of them and the steam engine I designed being another. The same applies for those things which can emit all sorts of colours. Did you know that, if you took a piece of iron, then poured this liquid on, yes, this one here. Be careful not to touch it. Pour it onto the metal and look, the iron foams. Also, this gas can explode. It truly is miraculous. Why exactly does it happen?”
“Honestly, buddy, I’m not interested in your junior high school chemistry gig,” I wanted to say.
I never took chemistry classes in university, but I knew what he was doing and the reason for the chemical reaction. Nevertheless, all of that was still in the research phase in this era. People could produce acid, but they didn’t understand why it reacted with iron. Mathematics had also just begun its gain recognition.
“Why does he want to buy Veirya’s sword, then? He wouldn’t use a sword judging from his appearance,” I contemplated.
Cheerful, he conveyed, “Sorry, I let my excitement get the better of me. I like sharing my discoveries with others. Sadly, most people do not know anything. I think you can comprehend what I mentioned, though. After all, you seem to also like mathematics. Anyway, I should not hold you up. Sorry, I have never seen you before. May I ask what you have come here to see me for? If it is about the steam engine, you need to see Edward for I do not know much.”
“No, I’m not here for the steam engine.” Obviously that was a lie. Faking a laugh, I expounded, “I came here today for the sword you bought. It was stolen. It shouldn’t have been sold, so I came to take it back.”
“I get it. You said that it is stolen property, right? I don’t care, having said that. I paid for it. It wasn’t legal with him, but I legally obtained it. Is it illegal for someone to buy it?”
“It’s not… In that case, can I buy it off you, then? How much do you think it’s worth?”
“Sorry, but I don’t want to sell it,” he replied, with a shake of his head and a smile. “It’s the sword that was used to slay the Demon King. It’s extremely important to humanity. At the moment, it’s an ordinary sword, but how about in ten years’ time? It’s a historical artefact. It will become a worthy part of history in years to come, which is why I’m collecting it.”
“Yeah? You might end up disappointed, then. The sword used to slay the Demon King wasn’t that one. You’ve been deceived.”
“That’s impossible! The sword is definitely Veirya’s. He said that the owner of the sword had silver hair. It’s definitely Veirya’s said. Plus, Queen Sisi bestowed her with the sword. I’m sure it’s this sword,” denied the man. “You can’t fool me!”
“I’m not fooling you. It’s true that it’s not that sword. You’re right that Queen Sisi gifted Veirya a sword, but it’s not the sword that Veirya used to slay the Demon King. It was a gift given to her after she slew the Demon King. Frankly, there are a dime a dozen of them. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even Veirya’s original sword.”
“Why do you say that?! How do you know so well?!”
I showed him my hand, my ring, not the wedding ring to be correct because I already broke the glass pearl on it: “Sad as it is, Veirya was conned of her sword for this ring when it’s just glass pearl. You should be able to figure out what my relationship with Veirya is given that I received a ring from her, right?’
“Correct, I’m Veirya’s fiancé. That’s why my information is accurate, isn’t it? Veirya never keeps her sword. Her weapon is quickly worn out or damaged beyond use on the battlefield if not lost. As such, she didn’t use that sword to slay the Demon King. You’ve been scammed. That’s just a sword that was made very well. If you want, I can give you an exact replica.”
He froze, not knowing what to say. With a smile, I took the sword off his hands without much effort: “This is Veirya’s sword that was conned from her, so it should be returned to its rightful owner. If you want to keep the sword, you’re better of keeping this. This is a ring that Veirya exchanged her glory as a soldier for, and it’s the first personal item she made an exchange for. So accordingly, if you want to collect good stuff, I think that this is what you should collect.”
“Yeah…? That seems to make sense.”
He accepted the ring from me. The ring was used to scam Veirya for her sword. Then, I used to get her sword back. Interesting, if I say so myself. I fixed the sword to my belt with a smile.
“Is there anything else? If you only came for the sword, I don’t think you would have come here.”
“I did, indeed, come for the sword. Also, I’m Edward’s friend. I’ve heard about you from him.”
“Edward? To be honest, we may be friends; however, we don’t exactly know each other. I’m used to it, nevertheless. Not everyone can understand. The reason for my joy isn’t because this machine will make me money. What I enjoy is the process of creating it. I get to be happy, and so does Edward. That’s why I don’t have an issue with it.”
He smiled as he carefully tucked away the ring. He scanned his collection and queried, “Without Edward, I wouldn’t have the money to buy this stuff. I don’t care about money. Unfortunately, money is a necessity. I love these things. Humanity is limited to a short lifespan. If we can’t leave anything behind, what was the point in being here?”
“You’re exactly right. Do you have any opinion of Edward’s business? Ambitious is the best word to describe him. He wants to have a monopoly on the entire process. He’s mining right now. You know about that?”
“I’m not interested in that. That’s for you businessmen to think about, isn’t it? I don’t understand all that stuff. Edward is a collaborator. When it comes down to it, I hope he has income. He’s put all of his hope on this.”
“So, in other words, if his business runs into a hurdle, then you’ll definitely help him?”
“I see.” I took a step back: “Thank you for returning Veirya her sword. I won’t keep you any longer. Goodnight.”
“Oh? Do you really not plan to stay and take a look? I have lots of things here. I thought you would be interested in this sort of stuff. After all, someone uninterested wouldn’t learn division.” He enthused, “You know, I discovered that lots of numbers can’t be divided. The numbers are different to our current numbers. They don’t follow any set rules. Look…”
Honestly, I didn’t plan to listen to him explain junior high school mathematics. My high school knowledge would be enough to create a science revolution in this world. I, nonetheless, didn’t intend to disrupt history’s development. I was just an ordinary man. It wasn’t something that I should’ve been doing.
I shook my head with a smile: “I’m interested somewhat. As you pointed out, nevertheless, I’m a businessman at the end of the day. My focus isn’t on mathematics. Plus, I’ve just gotten back my fiancée’s sword. I’m in a rush to get it back to her, so, goodbye.”
“I won’t keep you, then.”
He was a tad disappointed. Thankfully, he didn’t badger me. I didn’t see the steam engine. I probably had to pay him another visit. In saying that, Veirya was eager to return to the North, so I probably wouldn’t meet the scholar for some time. I wanted to stay in the imperial capital for a while.
There wasn’t a sound outside, but I wasn’t worried or afraid for the reason that there were people waiting for me at home. Leah wasn’t the only one waiting for me. Veirya was also waiting for me.
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd