Episode 50 – Weaving Guide for Dummies
The center district of Ashar was full of cafes, shops and public institutions, such as the Ashar Public Library. It had very few residential houses which weren’t too large. However, their prices were exorbitant.
Among those residential houses was an odd one with luxurious insides that could even be called tacky. Inside the house, a peculiar looking elibu waddled down the gaudy corridor illuminated by the glow of crystals.
The man was almost wider than he was tall, making him look like a giant multicolored ball. His exact age was difficult to determine because his inflated face had no wrinkles to be seen. From his attire and attitude, he would appear to be middle-aged, but his plump round face made him look childishly cute.
His garments were vividly colored, even the countless jewelry he wore had multicolored gems, seemingly without any kind of color coordination.
The man took slow steps and sighed tiredly several times before he finally reached the door to his bedchamber.
He was finally done with his work. Now he could relax and get some well-deserved rest. He would read a few books, order something good to eat, and perhaps even take a hot bath filled with sweet smelling bubbles.
The thought of food…and bubbles…but mostly food…made his mouth reveal a satisfied smile that stayed on his face for some time.
When he opened the door to his bedchamber, what greeted him inside was a complete and utter darkness. The night had already fallen, and there were no lit lamps in his room.
His house might not look like much from the outside, but it was actually pretty high class, with many enchantments and magical arrays. Thus he didn’t need mundane lamps, all he had to do was rotate a switch next to the door and the entire room would be enveloped in crystal light.
The man proceeded to do just that, after entering his room and closing the door, his meaty fingers found the switch and he quickly rotated it, aligning the magical array and activating the illumination spell.
When the crystals shined down from the ceiling, bathing every corner of the room in bright light, his gaze instantly landed on a black figure that stood out like a sore thumb in the vividly colored room.
The figure, dressed in a black cloak, was balancing on a chair with their feet up on the small coffee table. While balancing, the figure was whirling a small dagger like a toy, tossing it up and down, and catching it by the handle each time without exception.
When the fatty’s eyes landed on the figure, they almost popped out of their sockets. The shock gave his heart a jolt, and he let out a high pitched scream that sounded more like a shriek of a porkling getting slaughtered than a scream of a man.
The sudden ear-splitting wail startled the cloaked figure, and they almost lost their balance. After quickly stabilizing themselves, with all chair legs on the ground, they caught the dagger flawlessly and let out an exclamation of surprise: “What the…?! Why are you screaming??”
Dressed as an assassin! Concealing your presence! Twirling the murder weapon in your hand! Waiting for me in my bedroom to slit my throat in the darkness of a night! What do you mean why?! Who wouldn’t scream!?
The fat man recognized the voice, but he didn’t respond right away. He clutched his heart, breathing in deep heavy breaths. His eyes were still as wide as if he had just seen a ghost.
“Good thing the room is sound proofed…” The cloaked figure murmured. Otherwise, the scream would attract every servant in the house…
The fatty finally regained his wits and spoke out with raspy breaths. “Stop…doing…that! Do you want to give me a heart attack?!”
The cloaked person shook their head in exasperation and sighed. “Goddas…you are so feeble…”
The fatty, whose name seemed to be Goddas, finally calmed down enough to wobble towards the cloaked person, slumping down on the chair opposite of them dispiritedly.
“What do you want this time?” The fatty whined. The gaze of the cloaked figure caused his hair to stand on end. The hood of the cloak cast shadows over the person’s face so the fatty couldn’t actually see the cloaked man’s eyes.
Not just the eyes, his other facial features couldn’t be seen clearly either. The pudgy man didn’t even know if the cloaked person was an argel or an elibu. The only reason why he thought the person to be a man was because of the deep, husky voice and tall stature.
After staring at Goddas for several seconds, the figure produced an elegant looking platinum ring and tossed it towards him. Goddas caught the ring with some difficulty and then inspected it on the palm of his hand.
“I need you to enchant this ring for me.” The cloaked man elaborated.
The fatty’s eyes glittered as he saw the black layer under the platinum. “Is this kirine?”
Kirine was an extremely precious mineral with strange mana resistance properties. As long as the mana inside kirine didn’t reach a set threshold, kirine acted as if it didn’t have any mana resistance, allowing all mana to pass through it unimpeded. However, once the amount of mana inside of it reached the threshold, its properties would suddenly shift.
Kirine would become extremely resistant to all outside mana making it near impossible for mana to enter. However, mana already inside kirine would still enjoy zero resistance and could move in and out of kirine unimpeded.
This “selective mana resistance” of kirine had far too many wonderful applications such as protecting enchantments from attempts of breaking them. Once an enchantment was cast on kirine and the flip threshold was reached, no one would be able to cause damage to the enchantment without breaking the chunk of kirine. And of course, enchanters would include a strengthening spell inside the enchantment that would make it exceedingly difficult to break the chunk of kirine.
Unfortunately, the sparse quantities of kirine available made it so it couldn’t be used in large artifacts such as weapons and armor, for even a small pearl of kirine was considered an incredible fortune.
The cloaked figure nodded, confirming the fatty’s speculation.
“Damn, you are always so extravagant.” Goddas whistled with a mix of thrill and envy.
The cloaked figure snorted and motioned his hands towards their lavishly decorated surroundings. “You are calling me extravagant?”
The fatty ignored the statement and instead extended his palm towards the cloaked figure. “What spell do you want me to enchant it with?”
Without further ado, the cloaked figure produced a long and thick scroll.
When the fatty unraveled the scroll, his eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
The longer he stared at the pattern, the darker his face became.
“Are you joking?!” Goddas slammed his fat hand filled with rings down on the coffee table. “This…this is…simply absurd!!”
The cloaked person didn’t respond.
“This pattern is too dense, too complicated, too long! It’ll take ages to figure out how to cast it!”
Fatty glared at the cloaked person. Sure. He owed the cloaked man a favor. But that favor would definitely not cover a long research on how to successfully weave such a leviathan.
The cloaked person was unperturbed. He suddenly produced a stack of papers which were morphed together at the corner. “That’s why I brought you my tips and tricks on how to cast it successfully.”
Goddas stared at the man dumbfounded for several seconds, before lowering his gaze to the stack of papers.
As he read the title written on the first paper, his mouth started twitching, his face falling.
“Weaving Guide for Dummies”
Are you making fun of me?! My face might look dumb, but it’s just a façade!
With shaking hands, he took the stack of papers and flipped through it. The more he flipped, the stranger his expression became.
Wow. It sure is thorough. It dissects every line, mentions all areas to be wary of. It even lists common mistakes in weaving and how to avoid them. No wonder it is called “weaving guide for dummies”. Even an idiot would be able to successfully cast this with the guidance of the manual.
Fatty sighed dejectedly. I wish my other clients brought me a manual too…
“Even with your…guide…it will take me at least 5 days…” Fatty conceded.
Without blinking, the cloaked person interrupted: “I’ll come pick it up in 2 days.”
Fatty almost spewed out blood from anger. “Frakk! Freaking unreasonable!! I am not a miracle worker!! If I can’t do it, I can’t do it!”
The cloaked person looked at the fatty strangely. “Don’t try to con me. You have entire 2 days. That’s longer than it took to design the spell.”
This time, Goddas ended up spewing blood for real. “$%&#!! Who is conning you?! I am not frigging conning you! Who the frakk can design this in two days?! I am not a monster! I am just a regular guy!”
The cloaked man stared at Goddas, not showing any change in emotion. “If you were just a regular guy, would I be here, talking to you?”
Goddas stared at him gobsmacked.
Tsk…what an expensive repayment of a favor. Scam! You are totally scamming me! Last time I accept a favor from you! Tsk tsk tsk!
Fatty’s round face turned red, making him look like a tomato, but he couldn’t refute anything the man said. If he further claimed that he can’t do it in 2 days, it would be like claiming that he needed more time to read a book then the time it took the author to write it.
After grinding his teeth for a while, Goddas finally conceded. “Fine! But this is the last time! After this, we are even!”
The cloaked men nodded and got up to leave. Just as Goddas was about to let out a breath of relief, the man suddenly stopped in his steps. Without turning around to face him, he added in a seemingly amiable tone: “Oh, by the way…on my way in, I noticed you got a new protective barrier set up.”
Goddas suddenly felt cold sweat drenching his back. Indeed. He spent all his savings on new protection enchantments in hopes that this cloaked fellow won’t be able to waltz in as he pleases anymore.
The air in the room suddenly felt stifling, fatty’s heart raced. The cloaked man’s arm rose towards Goddas. Goddas felt his heart jump in his throat, the chair he was sitting on let out creaking noises under his shivering.
The fingers of the raised arm suddenly twisted, and the cloaked man…gave Goddas a thumbs up.
Fatty’s mouth dropped down to the floor.
“Excellent craftsmanship. Expensive, but it is a great investment. Along with all the previous security measures, your place might be the most secure house in Ashar.” The man nodded to Goddas in approval. “This feeling of security…ah! It must feel really great.”
The fatty couldn’t take it anymore, and he flipped the coffee table in a burst of anger.
Are you making fun of me?!! Huh, huh?! Secure my ass! You still managed to get in!! You get in every bloody time!!
Do you find it enjoyable to put salt on a fresh wound?! You! You!!
All my savings!!!! Gone!!!
Is this a conspiracy to con me out of my money?! Do you work for the security company?!
Troll! Buttcracker!! I hate you!!!
I can’t even sleep in peace anymore!!
After finishing with his tantrum, Goddas noticed that somewhere in the middle, the cloaked man disappeared. Leaving behind only an open window.
Fatty looked at the pitium bars on the window and started swearing again. “Frakk! You can even morph pitium?! Why not just go straight through the walls?!”
At this moment, the fatty’s round face looked extremely pitiful. He gazed down at the colorful robes he was wearing and let out a weak whine: “The stress is getting to me! I’ve lost weight!”