My Castle, My Castellan

Chapter 24 – The cooperation with the greatest craftsman


“Is this a pocket-sized gnome?” When Will took a dozen tiny gnomes and watched them riding on the delicate mechanical birds, this was McQueen’s first thought. The next thought was that the mechanical birds that the gnomes were sitting on looked pretty amazing. They were made of metal boxes, like an ostrich, they were shaking their heads while walking, and they looked very flexible.


These gnomes who made such a fascinating mechanical bird were less than fifty centimeters tall. Apart from their slender hands and fingers, they looked almost no different than ordinary human beings. They were just a few times smaller.


There was a gnome with his hair parted in the middle, he was wearing a pair of round glasses, he had thick beard and was wearing a red robe. On the robe, a white animal skin was stitched on the edge, his face was pale, and there were wrinkles on his face. It is said that the gnomes generally have a life span of 200 years, so McQueen couldn’t really tell how old this gnome was. He’s guessing that he might be 40 to 50 years old.


Behind this gnome, there were two very young gnomes also in their red robes, but there was no white hair on them. Their faces also appeared more delicate and smooth, and their eyes were full of curiosity. Then, there were ten gnome warriors wearing leather armor, they had short hair, and they all had a delicate, short sword hanging from the waist.


McQueen noticed that their clothes were embroidered with a large wrench on the armor. Presumably, this was the origin of the name of the wrench tribe.


“My greatest craftsman, Mr. Lance, this is our lord of the Toss City. The one next to him is my master, Bruce. As for Percy, you already know.” Will introduced passionately to the three gnomes, the greatest craftsman was the leader of the gnomes.


“My respected Mr. Lance, McQueen Thomas Arathi sends you his greetings.” McQueen’s gracefully bowed, he expressed his respect and showed the honor of his identity as the city owner. Obviously, he already learnt this gesture well.


“Oh, it turns out that it’s the lord of  the Toss City. Lance Semapura greets you back.” Lance also bowed, and seeing a gnome doing such a gesture, McQueen almost burst into laughter. Gnomes just appeared as funny creatures. However, the more polite Lance was, the more comfortable McQueen felt. It meant that the gnomes were willing to trade as well. Otherwise, the greatest craftsman wouldn’t be there. In this case, there’s a much higher chance for success.


Everyone was being polite. And after the greeting, McQueen knew about the identities of the two younger gnomes as well. They happened to be the two grandsons of Lance, and they were there to check out the world. One was called Avi Semapur, the other was Luc Semapura, and the ten gnome warriors were the guards of Lance.


“Mr. Lance, you know how sincere we are this time we’re here. We would like to build a deep friendship with the wrench tribe. And to build this friendship, we risked our lives by entering the Magic Cave. More than 15,000 of our brave soldiers had sacrificed.” McQueen was full of sincerity and his voice was deep, he also said with sorrow, “they gave their blood and their lives, and they’d paved the way for our friendship. I believe that the greatest craftsman could feel the sincerity of the Toss City.”


“Oh, 15,000 people are all dead?” Avi couldn’t help but scream.


“Yes, they all sacrificed. In order to find the wrench tribe, they will forever rest in peace in the Magic Cave.” McQueen looked even sadder, even Bruce and the others were moved by his words, and they looked sorrowful as well.


The greatest craftsman pushed his glasses and praised, “McQueen, the lord of Toss City. I am very moved by the sacrifice of the soldiers. This friendship is really a gem. As for your sincerity, I must say that I’m really touched.”


McQueen said in a low voice, “we are willing to pay for the friendship with the wrench tribe, and not only can we rely on each other emotionally, but we can also communicate well with such friendship. We will mutually benefit from each other and make our life happier. The respected greatest craftsman, are you willing to build a deep friendship with the Toss City?”


“I have to say that such friendship is exactly what we urgently need. However, there are rules set by the ancestors, and we have to act by these rules. My lord, I really don’t want these rules to exist, but I can’t change it, or I’d have to act disrespectfully to our ancestors. You will have to answer the ten questions on the stone gate. I’m sorry.” Lance sighed while shaking his head, the life underground was very bitter, and they were anxious too.


McQueen did not expect the gnomes to give in. He deliberately pretended to be lofty, just to make the wrench tribe feel guilty. For the next answers, he would stop being as strict, as nothing would be more important than human beings, even rules could be changed.


“Fine, for the friendship between the Toss City and the wrench tribe, McQueen is not talented, but I’m willing to try. I hope you can correct me after we answer the ten questions.” McQueen made a decision and took a firm step forward.


The source of the Pifa mainland was somewhere before even our history existed, it’s somewhere that our thinking can’t touch, and where lightness, nor darkness could get away with. What has broken the silence, what has caused something to roar, creating the nature’s wind and heat? And what has opened a river of time which were turned into different living beings?


“The source of the mainland, where there is no history, the balance is broken, with an eruption, a new world is created. Just like a sudden big explosion, where the light blooms and the darkness falls. There’s a raging fire in the world, and there’s history on Pifa Continent, there’s magic, vindictiveness, and all sorts of living beings.” McQueen started saying nonsense for the first question. McQueen actually didn’t believe that the gnomes could really figure them out, otherwise, they would have already made spaceships and all.


Sure enough, Lance began opening his eyes widely and he pretended to praise, “McQueen, my city lord, you’re too talented. How could you answer such a difficult question? Okay, you’ve passed the first one.”


Wasn’t that easy? Bruce, Will, and Percy had their eyes wide open. What a talented city lord, how shocking once he got it started.


“It’s nothing, I’m lucky to have been trained in this area. When I have time, I have to do more research with the greatest craftsman.” McQueen said with a smile, it’s too easy to fool these gnomes. It’s not challenging at all. Sigh, how lonely he was to have no one to compete with.


“That’s for sure.” The smile of the greatest craftsman’s face suddenly turned into a bitter one, and he started sweating. Well, for Lance, there’s really nothing to explore about. Ever since Lance was born, he’s never seen what stars looked like. These questions were left by his ancestors, and he didn’t understand them anyway, there’s really nothing to discuss about.


“McQueen, my city lord, please continue with the second question.”


The gloomy star river, the endless time and space, the flesh-body shackles swaying in the footsteps of truth, the moon rises at night, and the sun rises during the day. All the circles are witnesses of miracles. Only the ones that bind us are the eternity and distance, why should we care for them?


“The round sky and the square earth, it’s the endless void. It is because of the birth of life that it is a miracle of ‘square’. In fact, no matter it is square or round, it is the display of this world, and it’s always about the greatness of life.” McQueen continued with his nonsense.


“Great. What a good answer. McQueen, my lord, you are the most talented and knowledgeable human being I have ever seen.” Lance sighed loudly, For him, he and McQueen were moving toward the same direction. They could only achieve the best once they cooperated.


The great side had supplied us with glory, surrounded by small creatures, our God who shines, the devils who burn, fields with white bones, wild beasts, and the Titans who never stop. What is guiding our way forward? What is interspersing the Pifa Continent, crossing through the splendid passage and brought the most humble soul here?


“The call of the mission.” McQueen answered with determination. This question just seemed to mysterious, McQueen didn’t understand it at all. He was only certain that there’s a story behind.


In his past life, McQueen liked to play on LOL in an internet café, and he’d usually spend half a day there. He’d even do his toilet business in the internet café. There was a comic ad in the toilet which McQueen could see daily, and he slowly remembered what’s in it. There were four sentences on the comics, and the first one was, “who is guiding our way forward?” The second one is, “who is crossing through the battlefield?” The third one is, “who has brought our soul here?” The fourth one is, “the call of the Mission, we start calling upon our army!”


These sentences were very similar to those questions, McQueen almost knew immediately that it’s the call of mission.


“Ah.” Lance was really shocked this time. McQueen’s answer was exactly the same as that of his ancestors. “McQueen, my city lord, you really know a lot. I really admire you. Since 2000 years ago, nobody knew the answers of these ten questions. I didn’t expect you to be able to answer three of them.”


“It’s a small case, small case.” McQueen said calmly, now he looked more arrogant. He thought that he’s a real genius.


Steam, coal, the connection among the power of the machines, the gears that run like wind, the lever that runs steadily. The birds of the earth carry our bodies, but the thoughts can never stop. The God of creation, can you feel the favor of feathers?


This looked like a vague question, but McQueen seemed to know the real meaning of it. The one who’s asking the feeling of the God of creation apparently wanted to challenge his God. Feathers are the predators, which McQueen had already seen, and they were the model of the mechanics. The gnomes were bloating their technological power here.


McQueen coughed softly and said, “the great technology of the gnomes, even the God can feel the incredible magic.”


Lance was shocked again, then proudly said, “yes, our gnomes have inherited countless years of technology, and that is what we’re proud of.”


Ok, McQueen was right again. Bruce, Will, and Percy started to feel numb. How could McQueen figure them out so easily?


“The great Arathi, are we in a dream?”


The far-away passengers, the generations away from the dust, the right to rotate the mechanics, the beard’s kinship, the servant of the big head, the partner always give help. Who can tell the wind if the underground lava also has a beating heart?


This problem was very tricky, and McQueen can only rely on guessing, “even the hardest rock cannot stop the grass from sprouting. Even under the heaviest ice, there is a joyful fish swimming. As for whether the underground lava has a beating heart, it depends on the running wind, if it wants the grass to sprout, and if it wants the fish to swim. There’s no eternal hatred, nor eternal friendship. The Toss City is willing to establish an eternal friendship with the wrench tribe. Lance, the greatest craftsman, what do you think?”


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