Magi Craft Meister 475
14 Family Trip Arc
“It’s a local dish of this region. Stir-fried vegetables are stewed in Tometle juice.”
Vivian made a brief explanation of the food, adding that “each house seasons it differently”, and then started serving portions into each of their bowls. She seemed to be quite dexterous.
“I hope you like it.”
After serving everyone, and making sure everyone had bread as well, Vivian resumed the introductions.
“Nice to meet you all. My name is Vivian. I’m a storyteller, and also Stearly’s childhood friend.”
“I’ll introduce you to my friends. These are Saki, Jin, Elsa, Berthie, and her husband Reinhardt. And these are our attendants… The automata Ehr, Reiko, Edgar, Neon, and the golem Noir.”
“How impressive! You don’t get to see these many automata and golems too often.”
Vivian was absolutely spellbound, but soon realized that they still hadn’t started breakfast…
“Ah, excuse me. Please, go right ahead.”
…And encouraged everyone to begin eating their breakfast. After saying their bon-appetits, everyone started by trying the soup.
It’s a taste based on sour tomatoes with spices. Though the tomatoes of this world seemed to be called “Tometles”.
“I’m glad you like it.”
Seeing everyone’s faces and realizing they weren’t just saying it was tasty out of flattery, a broad smile appeared on Vivian’s face. Then she tore a piece of bread, dipped it in the soup, and took it to her mouth.
“Oh my, this is delicious!”
This time it was Vivian who voiced her excitement.
“I felt it when I tore it open with my hands, but this bread is so fluffy and has such a wonderful scent… It’s really tasty.”
She was most likely talking about the scent of natural yeast. It was not yet customary for the people of this world to use yeast when making bread.
Jin and the others had had a rather light breakfast before departing for Coupu, so they were just hungry enough to be able to enjoy the unusual taste of the “tomato” soup.
After finishing their second breakfast for the day, everyone was served a hot drink called “Kaffi”.
(Which was essentially this world’s coffee.)
The Quinta had been just recently dispatched to the southern part of the Celuroa Kingdom, so Jin wasn’t aware of its taste. The same was true for the Tometles.
Jin decided that when they returned from their trip, he would have this world’s coffee and tomato equivalents, that is, Kaffi and Tometle, cultivated on Hourai Island.
“So, about why we’ve come here today…”
While they were drinking their Kaffi, Stearleana started talking.
“Jin, Reinhardt, and Elsa here are Magi Craftsmen just like me. We were thinking about making a Golem Cat.”
“Oh, a cat? …So you’ve come here to study the movement of cats?”
Vivian nodded as if she was following.
“Didn’t that family that keeps a cat as a pet live somewhere around here?”
Stearleana seemed to have a rough idea, and asked Vivian in an agreeable tone of voice.
“That’s right, the Techres family might be able to help you with that.”
Both of them nodded in agreement. Then, Vivian began to explain.
“Mr. Techres’ house is the richest family in the city. He’s a merchant who seems to be making a lot of money by doing marine business with both the Egelia Kingdom and the Elias Kingdom.”
Stearleana then took over from where Vivian had left off.
“But he’s very well-mannered. He likes to hear stories from the customers he meets abroad, so I’m sure it’ll be a pleasant surprise for him if we all go see him.”
“Well, it might be a bit too early to go see him right now.”
It was about 6:30 AM. Though it seemed that the residents of Coupu were quite the early birds, it was still a little too early.
“Um, did you say you were a ‘storyteller’?”
Jin, who had been curious about it from the moment Vivian had introduced herself, finally asked her directly.
“Ah, that’s right. I’m a 32nd generation storyteller. Though I’m still a bit inexperienced.”
Vivian replied with a bashful expression on her face.
“That was one of the other reasons we came here. Vi, could you tell my friends some of your old tales?”
Jin was overjoyed at Stearleana’s unexpected request to Vivian.
“Particularly, Jin here is quite fond of old tales. Please?”
“If you’re the one asking, Stearly, how can I say no? So, what kind of story would you like to hear?”
Though her question had been quite abrupt, Jin thought for a moment and gave his reply.
“I’d like to hear about the ancestors that came from beyond the sun… If that’s okay, of course.”
Vivian smiled pleasantly.
“Huh? That’s interesting. Usually, when people come asking for one of my stories, they want to hear about heroes conquering fierce dragons, or the story of a tragic love between a princess and a knight. I haven’t told many stories like the one you’re asking, since they’re so old nobody can really tell whether they’re true or not.”
Vivian said that a storyteller is, in essence, a person who tells stories and teaches history to the common people who don’t know how to read or write.
“But since you’re asking, I’d like to share a valuable story with you, one that isn’t written in any book. That’s my biggest pride as a storyteller.”
Still smiling as she said that, Vivian slowly started to tell her story.
“…A long, long time ago…”
＊ ＊ ＊
Our ancestors lived in another land.
It was a paradise.
People there could fly in the sky, and lift things without using their hands.
They had attendants who looked like them, and their masters didn’t have to do any labor on their own.
There was no disparity of wealth among them, so they knew no conflict.
Sickness and injuries were also strangers to them.
People would spend their time absorbed in their hobbies, and colorful cultures flourished as a result.
They thought that such days would last forever.
Hundreds, maybe thousands of years later. Their population was slowly starting to decline.
The reason for that was that fewer children were being born.
People had long lives, but there were more people dying of old age than new children being born.
And so, several hundreds of years later…
Paradise was no longer a paradise.
The population had decreased to a thousandth of what it had been at its prime.
And a fraction of those who remained had set their hearts on leaving their paradise.
They built a ship that could fly in the sky and departed to the vast sky, searching for a new world.
After a long, long journey, they found a new world.
People have decided on one of the continents as their new home. The continent was uninhabited, with abundant nature and plentiful resources.
Their ship remained in the sky watching over the new world, and people began their new lives there.
Living in the new world wasn’t as easy as they were used to, and some people chose to return to the ship and live there instead.
But even then, hundreds of years later, people were beginning to prosper once again in the new world.
Taking their past as a lesson, they strived to not make their old mistakes again.
And so, their population started to rise for the first time in aeons, and they started to move to new continents.
Several hundreds of years have passed since then…
＊ ＊ ＊
“…And that’s it.”
Vivian’s voice sounded almost apologetic.
“The story of what happened to those people after that hasn’t been passed down to me.”
“Thank you, Vi.”
“…Still, it was a fascinating story.”
“There’s something about old stories that just stirs one’s imagination!”
“Yeah, they really are up to the listener’s interpretation.”
“It was a very interesting story.”
Everyone shared their own impressions about Vivian’s story.
“Of course, this is a story that has been handed down through many generations of storytellers. I don’t know how much of it is actually true.”
However, Jin wasn’t so sure about that.
“…Maybe the moon is the spaceship those people used to come here?”
He muttered that as if speaking to himself.