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Chapter 103: Hermit of Endsk (XII)
Vio talked at length with Zora. At first, it just seemed like it was just a chat, but as it continued the passion began to build.
“Is it possible to achieve flight using spirit shields as footholds? What a fascinating idea! I’ve always wanted to try flying. It’s magic that is really hard to control. One wrong move and it could spell your death. Perhaps it’s possible to create a cushion with air magic if you were to fall.”
“Do you think it’s too dangerous to try?”
“No, no, it’s just an idea I haven’t tried yet. You already have the idea. Why not experiment with it? I say we go outside and try it.”
“That’s a good idea. Why don’t we go do that?”
Vio’s passion over the idea had now reached a fever pitch, and he stood up ready, thinking they would experiment immediately. Dawn stood up and cleared his throat, saying, “Well now, perhaps not!” He pointed at the sky and Vio looked to see the sun was setting.
“Where did all the time go?”
Vio and Zora were both surprised. Yuan was not and gave a strained laugh.
“You are two peas in a pod, but… I’m hungry”
Yuan made Vio feel embarrassed, as he politely told them to wrap it up.
“I’m sorry, Yuan. I didn’t even notice.”
“I’m sorry as well. This is the first time I’ve met someone as young as you who can talk with me like this. No, you even want to be my apprentice, and you’re very familiar with spirit magic for your age.”
Zora having said that, Vio saw the opening and took it.
“Mr. Zora, will you please come to Leca? Will you please help me develop my town?”
“How long is the contract for?”
Once Zora’s question escaped his lips, Legion pulled the contract out and handed it to him while the opportunity presented itself. Zora used a light spell to create a soft glow so he could look over the contract.
“―Hmm. This is a pretty good contract, but I want this salary to be halved. Instead, I want to have both a store and a house. That way, I can do both business and research. If you can do that, I will agree to the contract.”
“Huh? Father-in-law, you want to continue to run a store?”
Zora nods in response to Dawn’s question.
“Of course. I spend my time using my research to create tools and spread the use of them for people to use magic more efficiently. If I don’t have a store, how am I supposed to do that?”
As Zora posed this argument to Dawn, Vio firmly grabbed Zora’s hand without thinking.
“I am incredibly grateful that you’d ask for a lower salary! Leca’s finances aren’t necessarily thriving, so I was really pushing the budget by drafting this contract! Of course, I can provide you with a store and house. There are vacant ones ready for you to choose from!”
“Yeah, I thought so. I figured it would be difficult for you to take in two scholars in a rural town,” Zora nonchalantly said in return.
He may have been an emotionally distant, obstinate old man, but he had excellent judgment. Vio sullenly drooped his head as Zora had hit the nail on the head.
“It’s okay. Money makes the world go round. Money impacts how you feel and gives you peace of mind. It is natural to want to have enough money to make sure that you can make improvements for the town. Food, clothing, and shelter are all essentials, and nourishment is always needed. That’s why it was a great idea for you to have hired a botanist. —Having talked with you, I can see you have a keen eye. I want to support you. I want all of your ambitions to come to fruition.”
Vio’s eyes felt the warmth that always preceded tears. He was overwhelmed by Zora’s encouragement, whose words that were both strict and gentle left an impression on him.
Vio had always struggled to form relationships with his elders. Due to this, it was impossible for him not to feel happy and supported by the man right before him.
“…Yes. Thank you, teacher,” he responded to Zora. It felt like the words of respect he had for Zora just rolled off his tongue as soon as he opened his mouth.
“Hahaha. What’s that? Are you really going to be my apprentice?”
“Please say that it’s okay. Please say that you’ll teach me.”
“Well, okay. I, too, am getting along in years, and I need someone to pass my wisdom to. I know you won’t misuse my knowledge.
Vio grabbed Zora’s right hand and shook it firmly with gusto.
“Well, isn’t this great, Lord Violant? Not only did you get a contract as a master wizard, but I also gained an apprentice.”
Vio returned to the inn and told Liona about what had happened with Zora. She expressed her delight, leaving Vio smiling sheepishly.
“Thank you so much.”
“Isn’t this just perfect? We have enjoyed the hot springs enough so we planned to leave town, and you finally gained what you were coming for.”
“You think so?”
When talking about it with her, he had said he planned to leave in three days, and it had been exactly three days since he told her.
“Well then, let’s get ready to leave. If I exit the town near the southern area, it will attract less attention. I’ve had enough of this town, so I’m ready to hit the road,” Vio said.
“Did something happen?”
“Ah, yes… well…”
Vio gave a pointed reply and sighed heavily. He didn’t want to stay in the same town as Karam Simmon any longer.
“So, was this incident related to the groveling apology I heard earlier?”
“Please forget about this, Princess. The incident was a part of my life I would like to just forget.”
“Oh, I see.”
It was still fresh in his memory that immediately after returning to the inn, Karam Simmons, flanked by Jill, kneeled and apologized to Vio in the inn lobby.
In the kingdom of Istiah, kneeling was an act whose meaning depended on your status. If you were of the citizenry, getting on your knees to someone of a higher rank was a sign of loyalty and respect. However, when nobles did it, even to those of a higher class, it was an act of complete self-deprecation and humiliation. Karam getting on his knees to apologize to Vio was the highest form of apology.
It was no wonder that the people accompanying Liona saw it as a serious affair.
What exactly did Jill say to him, and was it just a lecture? When Karam apologized, his face was as white as a sheet and he was shaking like a leaf. The incident only crystallized for Vio that Jill was a force to be reckoned with, so he should be careful to never make Jill angry.
Liona regrouped her thoughts and grinned.
“Thank you for hanging out with me all of this time. I had so much fun. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. You can always flee to our country if you are ever in serious danger, and I would accept you with open arms.”
Vio gazed softly at her.
Is that really just lip service or did she mean that?
Maybe she was serious after all when she said that at the castle.
“Thank you, Princess. If I ever find myself in such a situation… I will rely on you. Thank you.”
Vio bowed firmly, thinking of a future that may come.
If that future came to pass and Vio’s efforts failed, it took some weight off of his heart to know there was a place that they could escape to.
Zora and his companions got together the following day and waited in the neighboring town. They had been told they would meet up when Vio and his friends left the hot spring town of Endsk.
As time passed, Vio’s name would go down in Endsk’s history as the man who brought the steamer. He would be the man who single-handedly shaped the development of Endsk.
~End of The Hermit of Endsk~
Next Chapter: The Development of Leca.
[Exhausted from celebrating the amazing steamer: ]
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